America is one of the biggest whiskey producers in the world. Typical American whiskeys include bourbon, rye, malt whiskey and wheat whiskey. In addition to these staples, American whiskeys come in countless varieties, and each whiskey has a unique story to tell.
Read below to learn about some of our favorite American whiskeys and where to find them in NYC.
American Honey Whiskey
As far as flavored whiskeys go, American honey whiskey is one of the most popular. The product can be created by infusing any standard whiskey with honey, although bourbon is the most popular choice given its natural sweetness. The addition of honey mellows some of the whiskey’s bite, providing a warm and slightly sweet flavor profile perfect for sipping on its own or adding to cocktails.
While honey whiskey has only become widely popular in recent years, it has been around much longer. The first honey whiskey was created in Scotland in the late 1800s from scotch, aka Scottish whiskey. It’s now known by its commercial name “Drambuie.” Because strict rules dictate that only water and caramel coloring can be added to scotch, Drambuie is categorized as a liqueur rather than a honey whiskey.
The original recipe for Drambuie is still used today. It contains scotch whiskey and heather honey mixed with other herbs and spices. It is still bottled at 40% ABV just like it was over 100 years ago!
Blackened American Whiskey
Blackened American whiskey is a one-of-a-kind super-premium blended whiskey aged to the music of legendary band Metallica. The spirit is a collaboration between the band and Dave Pickerell, a master distiller.
Blackened whiskey is a blend of bourbon and rye, finished in black brandy casks which give it its signature flavor. Using a trademarked Black Noise™ finishing process, each batch of whiskey is aged to the sounds of a curated Metallica playlist put together by the band members themselves. This unique aging process provides a richer depth of flavor thanks to the soundwaves forcing the spirit deeper into the barrel where flavor can be extracted.
Blackened whiskey flavor notes include burnt caramel, oak, honey, cinnamon, allspice, clove and dark fruits. The whiskey has a smooth finish with additional notes of taffy and maple, making it perfect for sipping straight up or serving as a base for complex cocktails.
The whiskey comes in different varieties, including the limited-edition Blackened x Willet whiskey aged in Madeira casks. Blackened is for the serious whiskey drinker, as it holds a 45% ABV.
American Single Malt Whiskey
The United States is home to a plethora of single malt whiskeys. Like single malt scotch whisky, American single malt whiskey should be made from 100% malted barley and produced at a single distillery. However, America has no strict laws stopping whiskey producers from calling their product a single malt whiskey if it is produced using a mash of at least 51% barley.
Thanks to varying climates throughout the United States, American single malt whiskeys come in a wide array of styles. For example, American single malt distilleries in Texas can afford to age their whiskeys for a shorter period due to intensely hot summers. Over on the west coast, single malt producers can take advantage of region-specific elements like peat or other woods for their barrels.
Because it is made from 100% malted barley, American single malt whiskey tends to be fruity and light but with many underlying notes, including nutty flavors. The barley used in American single malt whiskey makes for a complex but subtle flavor profile that is soft and rounded on the palate. American single malt whiskeys tend to taste of soft stone fruits or rich toffees and dried fruits. Some single malts have earthy aromas and hints of chocolate and barrel spice.
American single malt whiskey also has fewer restrictions regarding what type of barrel can be used to produce it. Many American single malt whiskeys are still distilled in copper pots, giving them a unique flavor. American single malts can be distilled in second- or third-use bourbon barrels, sherry casks from Spain, port casks from Portugal, rum casks and even wine casks. Each of these different casks will impart a unique flavor to the whiskey.
Try a Variety of American Whiskeys at The Flatiron Room in NYC
If any of the whiskeys mentioned above have piqued your interest, come down to The Flatiron Room to try them yourself. The extensive selection of spirits at our whiskey room includes worldwide selections from the Scottish Highlands to Japan and across North America!